There will be bitcoin.

Black, digital gold.

The future of bitcoin mining is oilfield.

There is no greater quantity of stranded and wasted energy in the world than there is in oilfield.

  • Venting and flaring volumes are largely under reported by oil and gas producers, volumes likely significantly higher. I can also attest to this fact from direct field experience. [1]
  • Economically stranded gas wells represent a massively growing liability. I wrote about this here: [2]
  • Oil and gas still accounts for the lions share of energy produced annually:
Oil and gas continues to dominate the global energy production mix.

No, sweetheart, oil and gas is not going away.

Let’s just get this fact straight first.

Oil and gas production continues to grow.

If you look at the data the only time we ever see a flattening or decline in annual boe production is when there is an economic recession. E.g. early 2000’s, 2008–2009 and likely 2020 numbers will soon show the same. But they are typically small, insignificant blips in the grand scheme:

Grid miners will lose market share.

To date bitcoin mining has been dominated by cheap grid energy, largely that located in China due to a significant oversupply of hydro-electric capacity. This has simply been very low hanging fruit enabled by massive capital misallocation by the Chinese State — dams built to accommodate demand that has yet to surface.

Miners getting #rekt by Utilities / Politicians.

Why oilfield and not renewable energy?

There is a popular meme about how bitcoin mining is good for renewable energy advancement. The logic is that the large % of wasted or curtailed energy related to wind or solar farms can be instead used the operate bitcoin mines and therefore improve the project life-cycle payout by monetizing the energy that would otherwise be wasted.

Subsidies mean unsustainable

Then there’s the matter of subsidies, perhaps the elephant in the room on this topic. Renewable projects require massive subsidies to fly and do not actually make economic sense to pursue otherwise (which means they are anything but “green”, but I digress).

Conclusion

As a demand on energy directly at the source, bitcoin mining helps all energy producers operate more efficiently.

Bitcoin mining enthusiast / owner of @UpstreamDataInc / oilfield tech innovator / internal gears will change the world